Strokes aren’t just a worry for older people any more. 


New studies have revealed that strokes are rising among working-age people at an “alarming rate” – particularly in the past year. Strokes are no longer seen as a disease of older people, with experts citing unhealthy lifestyles as the main reason.


Studying hospital admissions data spanning the years 2000-2014, experts have noticed that trends for patients in their 40s and 50s are rising alarmingly. In women aged 40-54, there were an extra 1,075 strokes recorded in 2014, compared with 2000. There were 1,961 more hospital admissions for men aged 40-54 in 2014 – a total of 6,221.


So why are strokes becoming so much more common in middle-aged people?


Well, experts say that sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy diets and obesity levels all have a part to play in the increase. All these factors increase the risk of a blood clot, the primary cause of a stroke.


“These figures show stroke can no longer be seen as a disease of older people. There is an alarming increase in the numbers of people having a stroke in working age. This comes at a huge cost, not only to the individual, but also to their families and to health and social care services.”

Jon Barrick, The Stroke Association


A stroke in your 40s can have long-lasting, knock-on effects for families, emotionally and financially. Recovering stroke patients can find it difficult to return to work, and the rehabilitation process can put a strain on family life. Stroke’s among middle-aged people are less common, so sufferers often don’t receive the support they need from employers.


As a result, health professionals are urging people in their 40s and 50s to be vigilant with health and cholesterol checks, and are highlighting the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle to reduce the risk of stroke and other diseases.


Dr Mike Knapton, of the British Heart Foundation says,

“These findings highlight the importance of ensuring your blood pressure and cholesterol are under control, as well as having a health check at the age of 40”

Dr. Knapton added that while sedentary lifestyles and obesity were to blame, other factors have contributed, not least a lack of public awareness of the symptoms of strokes – warning signs like dizziness, difficulties with speech and changes to the face structure.


Do you know what to look out for? To find out what to do in the event of stroke and how to spot the warning signs, visit the EBPCOOH blog.